Esaw Snipes-Garner, the widow of Eric Garner, dismissed the apology of the police officer who placed her husband in a fatal chokehold, telling TODAY's Savannah Guthrie it came far too late.
"The time to apologize or have any remorse, like I said yesterday, would have been when my husband was screaming he couldn't breathe," she told Guthrie on Thursday, the morning after a New York grand jury decided against indicting police officer Daniel Pantaleo.
Garner's husband, 43, was unarmed when he died last July shortly after Pantaleo put him in a chokehold. The entire confrontation was captured on video.
On Wednesday, thousands took to the streets of New York City — as well as cities across the country — protesting the grand jury's decision, bringing traffic to a standstill and shutting down major highways. However, no major violence was reported, unlike the looting and arson that broke out barely a week ago in Ferguson, Missouri, following a grand jury there that failed to indict a police officer who fatally shot unarmed teen Michael Brown last August.
Esaw Snipes-Garner, who was joined by MSNBC's Rev. Al Sharpton during the interview, also spoke about:
- Her reaction upon hearing the jury's decision: "I started bawling. I started crying because it’s not fair. It’s not fair. What did they not see? How could they possibly not indict?" she said. "I felt hopeless, I felt like there was not another corner to turn, like there was nothing for me to fight for."
- Her lack of faith in the local legal system: "From the beginning I had no faith in Staten Island prosecuting anybody from Staten Island," she said. "I just didn’t have any type of encouragement. I felt no remorse, no compassion — anything — from Staten Island, besides the people."
- Sharpton said legal changes need to be made to ensure that authorities do not get preferential treatment when investigated: "Most cops are not bad but bad cops have got to be adjudicated outside of just local prosecutors."
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